The United States Department of Justice announced the arrest of a Miami man for alleged investment and cryptocurrency fraud, months after Telemundo 51 Investiga team showed how the money from the alleged victims had left the country.
Last year, we introduced you to Ryan Crawford, aka Brody, an alleged cryptocurrency entrepreneur who claimed he was about to take over the world with his new digital currency.
But according to Alberto Rivera and four other people who spoke to Telemundo 51, Crawford was nothing more than a scammer who tricked them into thinking he was going to generate income by investing in his cryptocurrency, but ended up keep its investors’ money.
Dorian Godfrey and Humza Quadri they lost $130,000 and $75,000 respectively. Humza says half of the money belonged to his parents and he still doesn’t have the courage to tell them he lost it.
“He was very indifferent to his victims. It could have been young people, middle-aged people, retirees, people who really suffered the loss, people who mortgaged their homes,” says Alberto.
Posing as a successful licensed stockbroker, Crawford tricked his victims into investing approximately $800,000 in his scheme, but neither generated any money nor returned the funds, according to the Justice Department. On some occasions, he squandered his investors’ money renting luxury cars and gambling in casinos, the government says.
Federal and local law enforcement investigated Crawford after receiving reports from alleged victims like Alberto who documented it all and spoke to us 10 months ago.
“Many months have passed since May 22 until today. But we really see the light at the end of the tunnel, because we see that things are falling into place, that they did not believe that the proofs were present and that we were really victims of a crime says Alberto.
After a thorough investigation, Crawford was arrested in Colorado on eight counts of wire fraud and will face trial in federal court.
Although we couldn’t contact him because he’s behind bars and we haven’t heard from his attorney, he texted me last year “Never invest what you don’t. don’t want to lose”.
“I built the crudest trading platform and was going to launch it…then they said it was a Ponzi scheme and some of my investors sold all their coins and took all the cash. “
Dorian calls Crawford’s scheme an evil theft. Besides the criminal charges, two of his alleged victims accused him of giving them fake checks and although they won civil lawsuits for non-payment, they did not get their money back.
Silka González is president of Enterprise Risk Management, a firm specializing in cybersecurity, and warns that it is important to be informed before buying digital currencies. “It’s so important that people who are going to invest in crypto of any kind who are doing their research first educate themselves using reputable sources,” Silka says.
Last year, the Enterprise Risk Management team helped us trace funds Crawford allegedly received in his cryptocurrency account to an exchange on an African island where the United States has no jurisdiction. .
Alberto, Dorian and Humza say they know they probably won’t get their money back, but they’re happy with Crawford’s arrest. “That means he won’t be able to do the same harm to other people,” says Alberto.
If convicted, Crawford faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.
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